Monday, 29 October 2012

Araw 27

Once everyone was in uniform and ready they went into the Payag, where already some of the non-Joyland scholars and their parents were already seated. Deb was leaving with Pastor Rick as he was going to a retreat in Bacolod, and we said our goodbyes. The kids were sat in the front in rows and the parents scattered on seats at the back. It occurred to me that none of the Joyland kids had parents present, and I was sad for them, but knowing how proud I was of them I hoped my affections might make up for it, maybe even the tiniest bit. The presentations started with the pledges to the flags, Filipino and Christian:

"I pledge allegiance to the Christian flag, and to the Saviour for whose kingdom it stands, one Saviour, crucified, risen and coming again with life and liberty for all who believe. I pledge allegiance to the Bible, Gods holy word. I will make it a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. I will hide its words in my heart, that I might not sin against God."

The national anthem was sung, followed by a worship song sung by Teacher Jaika and Sheena, and then Mamzet read some Bible verses and introduced the proceedings. For the first time ever since I met her, she appeared nervous! I wondered if it was the parents presence, or because Rick would have normally done the introductions. Shine presented the first set of awards, then Jaika, and it proceeded like this rather rapidly, broken only by a dance to worship by some of the 4th and 5th graders. After the awards Mamzet spoke a message in Illongo, which I didn't understand at all, and the wife of the WOLM church (who is also Shekinah's mum) prayed for everyone. Then the children filed out, some to their parents, some to clear up, and some to stand around chatting.

After most of the visitors had left, the Joyland kids changed back into play clothes (the ones with many stains and holes) and played in the dorms - mainly a strange form of Uno, filipino Monopoly and Boggle. I slept. Morning tea was served at the back of the boys dorm, bananas and bread rolls, and then the younger kids had a turn to watch a film. Soon it was lunch, after which Mamzet and Shine left for Patag, which meant I was in charge!

 I slept most of the afternoon and got up for dinner, and was in high spirits as the kids thought it very funny that I was in charge and wondered what I would do. Mamzet had left strict instructions that no-one was to leave Joyland, but apart from that I had no instructions. I trusted that the routine would generally run things more than me, and I was right.

Some of the older boys were gardening so didn't come for dinner, and we ate early anyway. But they did not come back for prayers though Ferlita rang the bell, and after Erwin came back saying he could not find them, a slight panic rose in my heart that they had jumped ship. The fact that Resthor was with them gave me comfort as I knew how affectionately he cared for me and would not leave whilst I was here. Finally they returned, we prayed, said goodnight and departed for the dorms. I thought it time I brought out my speakers and the kids liked to gather round watching my iPod as it changed song. Soon, lights out, and I stuck to the routine knowing I would be surely found out if the younger ones stayed up later. I was tired, so left the older kids to govern their film-watching and went to bed at 7.30pm with the younger girls after a shower. I don't know what time the older kids went to bed, and didn't ask the following morning at breakfast.
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